Key Findings in the Idaho Murders from the Court Affidavit

January 6, 2023
A photo of a man signing documents

You have to commend the police for the work that they’ve done.

Retired NYPD Inspector and attorney Paul Mauro on the investigation into the murder of four University of Idaho students in November.

CONTEXT: This week, we learned more about the mysterious murder case as the affidavit for probable cause (typically required to grant a warrant) was unsealed.

Police from Moscow, Idaho and Washington State University are being commended for the detailed forensic and detective work they did in order to arrest Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students which occurred on November 13, 2022. Kohberger was arrested last week. On Thursday, the Latah County District Court unsealed the affidavit which includes very descriptive details about the case. This affidavit is publicly available.

WHY IT MATTERS: 28-year-old Kohberger is being held without bond for the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; and Xana Kernodle, 20. "A lot of the forensic work that’s required in a case like this does take time," Mauro explained.


  • Police found DNA on a knife sheath in the residence/crime scene, and they matched it with the suspect's (Kohberger's) DNA they found while going through trash at the suspects parents' home in Pennsylvania.
  • The affidavit contains quotes and information from an interview with one of the roommates, a key part being that the roommate saw a man in a black clothing and a mask in the residence on November 13, 2022, and that he had bushy eyebrows.
  • A white Hyundai Elantra was seen on surveillance footage near the crime scene before and after the time of the murders. Washington State University police aided in the search for Elantra and on November 29th, found a 2015 Elantra registered to Kohberger at the school. Moscow Police Corporal Brett Payne writes in the affidavit: “Officer Whitman also ran the car and it returned to Kohberger with a Washington tag. I reviewed Kohberger's WA state driver license information and photograph. This license indicates that Kohberger is a white male with a height of 6' and weighs 185 pounds. Additionally, the photograph of Kohberger shows that he has bushy eyebrows.”
  • Kohberger’s phone pinged at the scene of the crime a few hours after the murders and at least 12 times to a cell tower in the area, and this goes all the way back to August. The implication being that he may have been stalking one or more of these victims and the house for months before the murder took place.

WSU and Pullman police aided in identifying, tracking and apprehending Bryan Kohberger (Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Bryan Kohberger's phone pinged at Idaho murder scene hours after killings and 12 times prior: investigators (FOX5)

Latest on Idaho Killings: Suspect Linked to Crime Scene by Phone and DNA (The New York Times)

Here's a link to the 19-page affidavit

by Jenna Lee,